Microsoft’s highly-anticipated portable PC, the Surface phone — codenamed Andromeda — has remained elusive for the past few years. Rumors about the device have been proliferate, but whenever it seemed like Microsoft was at the cusp of unveiling the device, the Redmond-based tech giant has abruptly decided to delay its release. Thus, the Surface phone remains nothing but a speculative dream for now.
In a recent interview with The Verge, Microsoft chief product designer Panos Panay noted that he has been dreaming of a Surface device that can fit in a pocket for years. This device, of course, is the much-rumored Andromeda. With Panay’s statement, it seems safe to assume that the Surface phone project is still alive, albeit moving behind the scenes.
Panay noted in his interview that it is really just a matter of timing. According to Panay, the Surface phone, in the event that it does become ready for release, must be a device that can truly be “more” than what its rivals are. The Microsoft exec noted that this particular idea is present among all of the other Surface-branded devices. Panay also fondly noted that, contrary to rumors of the Surface phone being abandoned, he considers the device to be his “baby.”
“It’s absolutely my baby. We will invent, and we will create when products are right. We can’t bring new categories into the world and not be a place where customers need it. I think any other form factor you haven’t seen yet we’ve gotta get right; we’ve got to make sure we keep inventing to make it perfect. I’m not talking about just the hardware; I’m talking about the whole thing. What it means to you, how it gives people the opportunity to be the best that they can be or transforms something they don’t do already. I think being fair about that as a product person is important.”
While the Surface phone is yet to be revealed by Microsoft, some basic aspects of the device have been revealed in patents. Based on documents filed for the device, the small Surface device appears to be designed as a hinged productivity machine that can work as a hybrid, according to a Windows Latest report. The Surface phone is also optimized for productivity in the way that it is compatible with the Surface Pen. Any details surrounding a potential keyboard for the Surface device, however, has not yet emerged from the rumor mill. Ultimately, however, Panay is optimistic about the Surface series’ future.
“I think there’s a lot of new form factors that are coming in the future,” he said.